Padres and STAR/PAL are a Hit with Silver Wing Students

Students from Silver Wing Elementary in south San Diego caught fly balls, took swings in the batting cage, and ran the bases during a simulated game while being cheered by their local heroes: the San Diego Padres and San Diego Police.

The baseball “camp” took place Aug. 18 at Petco Park, the home of the Padres. The event was organized in partnership with STAR/PAL, a San Diego-based nonprofit organization that models police and community collaboration. With the names of the 40 fifth and sixth grade students appearing on the oversized electronic scoreboard, and local news cameras capturing just about every swing, the event had a larger-than-life feel. Sworn officers from the San Diego Police and County Probation departments helped run skills sessions for the students of Silver Wing, which is one of 45 schools in the Chula Vista Elementary School District.

“The difference with today is that we are actually on the field at Petco Park,” said San Diego Police Officer Edwin Garrette, also a STAR/PAL staff member. “We typically don’t do this. …Some of these kids have never even been to Petco Park. So for them to be out here on the field is huge.”

Every student received a jersey to take home. They even had their own lockers in the ballpark’s auxiliary locker room. Garrette, who was honored by the Padres that evening for his work with STAR/PAL, noted Silver Wing has a special relationship with SDPD’s Southern Division.

Padres players Brandon Maurer and Yonder Alonso were joined by former star reliever Trevor Hoffman in participating in the event. Alonso shared about himself and the importance of education while the students ate their lunch in the stands at Petco.

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